LG GSA-4163B vs. BenQ DW1620: I am (favorably) impressed

Got my bulk black LG GSA-4163B from newegg.com three weeks ago (when it dropped to $61.99 with free shipping) and so far I have absolutely no regrets about buying it, even though I consider myself spoiled by BenQ DW1620. I am pleasantly surprised by the quality of the discs that 4163B cranks out.

Case 1, a not-so-good 25-pack of Verbatim-branded, CMC-manufactured MCC004.

1st scan is a BenQ 16x burn. Shows typical PIF spikes toward the end that always appear in 16x burns.
2nd scan is an LG 16x burn. Absolutely clean at the outer edge of the disc where it plows through at full 16x. Amazing.

Case 2, cheap Teon-branded, 8x rated CMCMAGAE1.

1st scan is a 12x BenQ burn. Very clean, especially considering this is 16c/disc media.
2nd scan is an 8x LG burn. Hard to believe, but LG burns this media as cleanly as TYG02. 50 PIFs total… this one is for record books.

Case 3, Maxell 8x -R media, MXLRG03.

1st scan is a 12x BenQ burn. Pretty good.
2nd scan is an 8x LG burn. Fewer PIEs, fewer PIFs.

Case 4, 8x rated Fujifilm -R media, made in Taiwan by Prodisc.

1st scan is a 12x BenQ burn. All BenQ burns show a marked increase in PIE numbers at the outer edge of this media.
2nd scan is an 8x LG burn. All LG burns have elevated PIE numbers in the 6x area but are very clean in terms of PIF numbers and distribution. LG burns this media better.

Case 5, Fujifilm-branded TYG02.

1st scan is a 16x BenQ burn. Excellent result, in line with Taiyo Yuden reputation for making first-rate media. I wish every 8x rated media burned like that at 16x.
2nd scan is an 8x LG burn. An even better result.

In my opinion, the BenQ drive has a slight edge here, considering the excellent result at twice the speed, and with lower jitter.

Case 6, Fujifilm-branded +R media, YUDEN000T02.

1st scan, a 12x P-CAV BenQ burn.
2nd scan, a 12x Z-CLV LG burn.

Remarkably similar burns. BenQ appears to have a slight edge again (a little fewer PIEs, a little lower jitter).

Just a large !!! to those that reads this.

Notice that most BenQ burns is done at higher writing speed and thus can’t be directly compared to the LG burns that is done a lower speeds.

This is true. BenQ (even with original, unpatched firmware) is very good at writing media at higher than its rated speed. I also appreciate its ability to write RICOHJPNR01 and TYG01 at 8x and 12x with good quality (after MediaCodeSpeedEdit). As far as I know, nobody came up with a way to overspeed media on LG drives. The only official overspeed I’ve encountered so far with GSA-4163B is YUDEN000T02 at 12x Z-CLV, which translates into 6:30-6:40 burn time, thanks to its 10000 RPM.

However, since my primary goal was to compare writing quality, I must note that BenQ writing quality does not improve with lower speeds on the media I’ve presented above… at least, I haven’t noticed any significant differences in BenQ writing quality between 8x and 12x on CMCMAGAE1, ProdiscF01, TYG02, or YUDEN000T02. (See the scans below.)

What would LG GSA-4163B produce at 12x on 8x rated media we may never know… unless LG becomes interested in including these speeds in its firmware, or somebody finds a way to decode and patch LG firmware. Based on LG performance on MCC004, I would guess that it would have no problem writing good media at 1.5-2x rated speed, but, again, LG didn’t give us any means to test that :slight_smile:

Here are some more BenQ scans to illustrate my point that its writing quality does not change much from lowering burn speed to what each media is rated at.

1st pair of scans: CMCMAGAE1, 8x on the left, 12x on the right.
2nd pair of scans: ProdiscF01, 8x on the left, 12x on the right.
3rd pair of scans: TYG02, 8x on the left, 16x on the right.
4th pair of scans: YUDEN000T02, 8x on the left, 12x on the right.

my experiences show however that the burn quality of a benq at 8 x is better then with 12x. Lower pifs and pie. i´ll add later some scans with ricoh, ritek and optodisc media.

Looks like you put the drives through their paces pretty good. Thanks for the results!

thanks for scans…

Other than writing speeds, BenQ-burned disks from Case 1 to Case 4 contained less than 4.4GB while all LG-burned disks had 4,463 to 4,488MB. Writing time is also missing on each. But, thanks for the comparison.

Is there any link you can shoot me that explains these graphs/readings?

A remark on the side:
I learned on my job, that if you want to directly compare things you must only change one parameter at a time - burner OR writing speed OR media. Otherways it´s a waste of time for you can not draw conclusions and noone is going to believe you.

Media forum in general. There are many threads that need to be absorbed but for beginners, sticky threads should do.

Changing only one parameter at a time is good. But time and money are so limited. :slight_smile: For very extensive tests, we need many volunteers to bring their computers, drives, and media to one room and test everything in the same or nearly same condition. Come to Seoul everyone and I will gladly provide rooms large enough to test 100 DVD writers at once and lots of computers and drives myself for such tests and I will work hard for nothing for thousands of hours. (I’ve already had such things for exactly that purpose but the only thing I lacked was volunteers.)

There seems to be another official overspeeding case for LG4163-b. At least it is possible to burn RICOHJPN-R02-003 8x media at 12x with A103 (don’t know whether it works with earlier FWs too). I have not done this nor have I the possibility to scan my burns.

This must be the stupidest post. How come you even have face to compare benQ and LG burning at different speeds? I wish you could just delete this thread !!!

Hey, before you delete, can you show same comparisons, but now BenQ at X8 and LG at X12?

Simply put: they taught you well !

Well, they did not teach him that well. Changing one parameter at a time does not show the interaction that many times exists between parameters. Ie, when you change one you get X, when you change only the second you get Y but when you change both simultaniously you get Z which can be totally different to both X and Y seperately as well as their sum.

Easy, but is it important? Why not ask to test both drives at 16x instead? For 8x writing, GSA-4082B, SOHW-812S, and many other 8x drives do.

Strongly disagree.

Most people will simply burn at the default speed, which is typically the top speed that the burner will produce - so from that context the comparison is valid.

I too own a BenQ 1620 and I too agree with agent009 that the difference in quality on a 1620 between 8X burns and 12X burns is extremely minimal. This is one of the major strengths of the 1620.

Certainly the BenQ will complete the burn a bit faster at the higher 12X speed, but if your goal is quality, then the extra 2 minutes is probably insignificant.

I’d like to thank agent009 for taking the time and the effort to post these detailed comparisions for the rest of us to see.

Delete the thread? I think not!